For illustrated talks on natural history and history see www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click link for www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Kestrel in Kingswood, Surrey, UK today.

From a private road (and public bridleway) adjacent to Eyhurst Park in Kingwood there was a solitary bird perched in a tree.  It didn't fly away as we walked underneath it, or as I walked back to get a closer look with a camera lens.
Deep joy: a female Kestrel!  Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Picture taken from under the tree.  Then after walking back from whence we came to get a frontal view.
 What a beautiful bird!  Adjacent to a golf course with rough grass and hopefully no chemicals there, plus Shabden Park and The Long Plantation nature reserve managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust, this is a good environment for a Kestrel.

 This bird was so photogenic: staying put as I walked back underneath it to take a picture from the other side.
This is probably the same kestrel seen in October 200 meters away.  See https://www.facebook.com/peter.lovett.18/videos/10153665006384049/?theater

To see earlier blogs of a particular subject or area, e.g. "Kingswood" use the search box on this blog to pull up related entries of wildlife throughout the year and years.  Enjoy!

Meanwhile, here is a picture of another magnificent kestrel in fight taken at Woods Mill in Sussex in August 2015.




Saturday, 12 December 2015

A linear walk from West Grinstead Station to Knepp Castle: birds seen included redstarts, redwings, starlings, black-headed gulls, jackdaws, cormorant, shoveler, mallards, coots, heron, canada geese, and buzzard.

From a public car park last Wednesday (9th December 2015) at this disused railway station, I walked south on the old railway line.

 One of the few places in Sussex where one can safely cross (under) the busy A272 road: watch out for cyclists though.
 Lots of robins before the first footpath off to the left leading towards the tiny village of West Grinstead

 Fine views to the South Downs and Chanctonbury Hill
 West Grinstead church.
 Click any picture to expand them.
 There was a flock of starlings, which on closer inspection included a few redstarts.


 Crossing the dangerous A24 road there is a footpath through the grounds of Knepp Castle
 The old mill pond was full of birds.



 High in an ash tree and perhaps 100 m away was a redwing, looking very colourful and having traveled from Scandinavia.

A fine rainbow illuminated the start point and the "croc of gold" which awaited me there at rainbow's end.  I didn't find it but this walk itself was pure gold in any case, despite slipping and sliding on the wealden clay soils.

 Black-headed gulls

This is the route of the Downs Link path, of which I walked perhaps a half a mile on the outwards leg of this walk and a mile plus on the return from a different path.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Some birds at Shoreham today including Red-breasted Mergansers

Lapwings on the estuary

 Widewater, Shoreham beach

 What are these ducks?  I had no correct idea!   My thanks to Paul James at  http://www.sos.org.uk/  for identifying them as Mallard hybrids.

 Little Grebe
 Red-breasted Mergansers

 Great-crested Grebe in Shoreham harbour from the Fort


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